Lacrosse program displays support for Seton Hill victims

Bryce Derouin

One reason we love sports is because of the unpredictability. It’s one of the reasons we’re enthralled with March Madness.

This past weekend, Grand Valley State University athletics saw that unpredictable events are not only limited to on the court, but can happen off of it as well.

The women’s softball team has already had ten games canceled due to inclement weather, including their last six scheduled contests.

On their way to Chesterfield, Mo. to compete in the national tournament, the GVSU Division II men’s club hockey team had their bus catch on fire.

Fortunately, no one was on board at the time, so there were no injuries, and the team was able to put that past them on their way to a runner-up finish.

During the NCWA Wrestling Nationals, GVSU head coach Rick Bolhuis had to attend to his wife, who was going into labor and was experiencing contractions while Bolhuis was at the tournament.

However, the biggest story from this past weekend was the Seton Hill University women’s lacrosse tragedy. GVSU’s women lacrosse team was set to take on Seton Hill University before a bus carrying the Seton Hill lacrosse team veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and jumped a guardrail – eventually hitting a tree. 30-year old head coach Kristina Quigley, who was six months pregnant, died from injuries she sustained in the crash. Quigley’s unborn son was also a victim in the accident. The bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, 61, was the other casualty in the accident. Numerous others were injured in the accident as well.

Sports have always had a way to bring people together. Whether it be a town coming together to support a team, or a community rallying around a team and its players facing adversity.

Many people will look at sports and call it “just a game.” While they may be right, the impact that sports can make off the field is indisputable, especially when a program is faced with a tragedy like Seton Hill. Lacrosse might still be a niche, and not as popular in this country compared to other sports such as football, basketball or baseball, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the overwhelming support Seton Hill has received from other lacrosse programs like GVSU around the country.

GVSU, along with numerous other lacrosse programs, will be honoring the Seton Hill program by wearing gold and crimson ribbons on the laces of their shoes. The movement began with players from Marymount University. Their message was spread through social media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

A Facebook page entitled “Play 4 Seton Hill” already has garnered almost 10,000 likes and showcases lacrosse teams from around the country showing their support by wearing t-shirts or sporting the ribbons.

A donation page for the surviving husband and child of Quigley has already received over $45,000 in three days and is well on their way to surpassing the initial goal of $50,000. The page is set up as a scholarship fund for Gavin, the child of Kristina.

Because of sport, Kristina Quigley will be remembered and her spirit will be carried on. Whether it’s at GVSU or anywhere else, Quigley and the Seton Hill program will be thought of, and honored anytime a team steps on the field.

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